Ready for takeoff: planning a trip to Switzerland

Thursday, April 25, 2024
by Aaris, Delaney, Marco, Shakthika, International Study Course students
The Switzerland International Study Course students with instructor Steve Balaban.

As part of the School of Accounting and Finance Winter 2024 International Study Course, the class has been hard at work preparing for our trip to Zurich and Geneva at the end of April!

The AFM334 International Study Course is offered to upper-year students and enables us to meet with companies and business professionals abroad, helping students to learn more about the global business landscape and further enhance the knowledge we gain in the classroom.

Students enrolled in this course will join one of three teams, each with unique roles and responsibilities: Corporate Relations, Marketing & Culture, or Meals & Logistics.

The trip is student-run under the leadership of Professor Steve Balaban, our teaching assistant Echo (Master of Accounting), and alumni development officer Victoria Hinde. This means that students are responsible for selecting and scheduling meetings with companies, ensuring that transportation and lodging are in order, and creating our weekend itineraries.

Meet the teams

Corporate Relations 

Bhavna (Biotech/CPA ’25), Harman (Accounting and Financial Management (AFM ’25), Rachel (Computing and Financial Management (CFM ’25), and William (CFM ’25) make up this term’s Corporate Relations team.

The team’s role is to set up meetings with various companies and organizations in Switzerland. The team leveraged their networks as well as LinkedIn to reach out to companies to attempt to schedule meetings with. Some of the companies the team has arranged for the class to meet include Boston Consulting Group, Julius Baer, and The Zurich Insurance Group. Aside from the accounting and finance industries, the team has also arranged meetings with tech startups, pharmaceutical companies, and non-profit organizations.

Marketing & Culture

The Marketing & Culture team is comprised of Aaris (AFM ’25), Delaney (AFM ’26), Marco (AFM ’26), and Shakthika (AFM ’25).

The team’s responsibilities include managing and planning our weekends in Switzerland, organizing team-building activities, and educating the class on Swiss culture. During the weekends in Switzerland, some of the experiences they have arranged include visiting the Lindt Home of Chocolate in Zurich and a day trip to Chamonix, a French town located at the base of Mont Blanc. On top of planning weekend activities, the team has arranged multiple pre-trip team building activities, including an escape room and class dinners.

Meals & Logistics

Aradhna (AFM ’25), Luka (AFM ’26), Shlip (AFM ’26), and Zo (AFM ’26) make up this term’s Meals & Logistics team.

This team is responsible for scheduling dinners with business professionals, organizing hotel accommodations, and planning the transportation to and from meetings. They have put immense thought into the planning and scheduling of the trip to ensure it runs smoothly, especially because there is a lot of pressure to ensure we can navigate between company meetings efficiently. Thankfully, the team has effectively outlined every logistical component of the trip, while staying within the strict budget constraints.

What we’re looking forward to

The class has put a lot of hard work into the organization of the trip and we are ready to realize the benefits once we take off for Switzerland!

There are countless personal and professional opportunities we are looking forward to on our trip, from meeting with CFOs of large financial institutions and having professional discussions with such a diverse set of companies, to learning about Swiss culture first-hand and taking a scenic hike through the Swiss Alps.

We are very grateful to Steve, Victoria, Echo, and the School of Accounting and Finance for making this possible! 

Keep an eye out for the team’s update detailing their learnings post-trip.